3 Signs of a Godly Family Culture
When I was ten years old, my parents dropped me off to stay with another family for the weekend. The mother told my mom about all of the amazing activities we would do and all the great experiences they had in store for me over the weekend. I couldn’t help but get excited, myself! Dirt bikes, video games, movies on their big screen TV, flying model airplanes—it was a kid’s dreamworld!
When I entered the threshold of this uncharted territory, hearing the dull roar of my mom’s old Mazda driving away, I hesitantly followed the mother into the living room to see the family. The son was a friend from school, about my age. They had a teenage daughter who was years older than me, and the mother’s drop in, drop out boyfriend.
Hours into being immersed in this strange, new, setting, I was in tears, sneaking away into the kitchen pantry to call my mom from the family’s portable home phone to get me out of there! What was different about this family? Umm, everything. From the teenage girl’s angry, grungy music vibrating the walls, to my friend’s threatening, rebellious screaming matches with his mother, to the harsh, controlling, thunderous reprimands of the mother’s boyfriend, I was experiencing something entirely different from what I was accustomed to: another family culture.
Growing up, we weren’t a perfect family, but we cultivated a sweet culture of laughter, joy, encouragement, and intentional memories. I implore you: please work carefully to establish a Godly family culture!
What are your goals as a family? As a couple, you are the cultivators of a garden, the commanders of an army, the navigators of a fleet. A family establishes a rich culture by what they value. What you value, you reproduce.
Where are you going as a family? Are you a “straight A’s or bust” family? Are you the “fitness family,” the “fashion family,” or the “fiendish family”? All humor aside, ask God to give you vision to establish the culture of your family.
A family culture is by default. You are already establishing the culture of your family, whether you know it or not. We laugh at the misadventures of Forrest Gump, who cluelessly meanders through life, rubbing elbows with JFK, John Lennon, and more, even building a multi-million dollar empire in the shrimping business! But it is important to be intentional as you establish the culture of your family.
My wife is always talking to me about doing fun things with the kids to make memories. I love this about her. She is thinking generationally. Be pro-active in your play times with your kids; always be thinking about how every interaction is a catalyst for the men and women they will become.
Family devotional times are how we establish Christ’s lordship in our family. Some of the best memories I will always cherish are sitting in a circle on the floor, worshipping God as a family, and answering our kids’ heartfelt questions about the nature and character of God.
My intro mentioned my experience with a chaotic family culture. My wife and I yearn to be a joyful family. When things break, when money is tight, when stress abounds, our hearts cry out to God to model joy for our kids.
We want our children, and everyone who encounters our family, to see us a safe place.
If the culture of your family is chaotic and toxic, it’s not too late to invite the Holy Spirit to intervene with His peace and comfort.
How do you see your family culture? Is there faith or fear, peace or disarray?